February 17, 2016

This Map Explains the Historic Tile Color System Used in NYC Subway Stations

We know the crowds that pack into our city’s subway cars each day are more than colorful enough, but the system also has a super-geeky color-coded navigation system that exists even outside of the main map’s primary colored lines. The city-owned Independent Subway was opened between 1932 and 1940. Up until 1967, it was the last of three former competing subway systems, and contributed six major lines to what is now the unified New York Subway: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, Q (partial). Squire J. Vickers, the system’s architect, designed a special color coding system for each station. Color coded stations were then grouped between express stations to make riders aware of the zone they were passing through. At each express station, the color of the tiles would change. Some station tile color patterns have been altered with subsequent renovations. The system map is based on the original color coding sheet from 1930. After WWII, almost all new subway stations featured their own unique architectural designs and colors
Find out what color your stop is